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Fan 'delete'

Discussion in 'Z3 Roadster & Coupé' started by Dino D, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Dino D

    Dino D Zorg Guru (IV)
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    Came across a thread on BF about the fan delete again and am thinking of doing it as described in point 1 below.
    I've had the viscous coupling go as well as two fans disintegrate (nearly puncturing the radiator). Already spent plenty on this fan set up an wonder when it will fail again...

    Seems to work fine in US temperatures so should be fine here (although it does get rather balmy here in Kent).
    Thoughts anyone?

    Thread here:http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2168137


    Before doing this is I'd want to be sure my electric aux fan is working though as I can't say I've ever noticed it working before (or is too far forwards to be heard from inside the car?)
     
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  2. David Cullen

    David Cullen Zorg Legend
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    i have the viscous fan setup also, ive never heard my fan working either, or getting faster as the case may be, i havent had any problems such as you have mentioned either. I was thinking of changing to electric fan at one stage and then figured i would probably just install a slim fan and switch just in case my viscous fan failed.... simple enough task and without half the trouble of changing the whole system, just have it there as a precautionary measure ;-)
     
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  3. oldcarman

    oldcarman Zorg Guru (V)
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    I'd wire a thermo switch in to the aux fan as once the clutch fan dies you can overheat fast enough to blow a head gasket before you can get a switch turned on. JIM
     
  4. David Cullen

    David Cullen Zorg Legend
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    hmm getting complicated there Jim... i understand what you are saying alright,
     
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  5. Brian H

    Brian H Zorg Guru (V)
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    I have thought about this too, I see no problem with doing this but understand you need to change over the Aux fan switch for a lower rated one, IIRC the Aux fan switch is located on the drivers side of the rad about 3/4 of the way up.
     
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  6. Ashbandicoot

    Ashbandicoot Passed Away, July 27 2015
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    The fan switch is as simple as fitting one of these
    www.eurocarparts.com/ecp/c/BMW_Z3_1.9_1997/p/car-parts/car-cooling-parts-and-car-heating/cooling/car-switch-and-car-sensor/?224110330&1&f5abc2ad9deb91d3757d5351430cb74a0ad40318&000529

    It has an opening closing temp setting of 88/80 vs the stock 90/85. Over on BF there is a lot of talk of fitting an 80c thermostat aswell but I don't think this is necessary - some people suggest it is detrimental but tbh I don't have a clue either way :confused:

    I don't have an aux fan though so I think I would need this this http://store.bimmerworld.com/bimmerworld-e36-3-series-electric-fan-conversion-kit-p1450.aspx

    Ash
     
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  7. oldcarman

    oldcarman Zorg Guru (V)
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    Exactly @BrianH best to have something automatic to turn on that fan than simply relying on a direct switch as I was cruising down a beautiful back road and looking at the scenery and not the temp gauge until I smelt/ see the steam coming from under the bonnet. By then it's most likely too late!
     
  8. Dino D

    Dino D Zorg Guru (IV)
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  9. t-tony

    t-tony Zorg Expert (II)
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    Yes, it is for AC cooling.

    Tony.
     
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  10. Dino D

    Dino D Zorg Guru (IV)
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    Ahh...so if you have aircon you definitely have the aux fan?
     
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  11. amancuso

    amancuso Zorg Addict

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    I've thought about doing this mod as well as I've read about it for years. To be honest I've only had one mechanical fan failure, and it was in my 328i. It took out the radiator. The way I see it, the plastic the fan is made of will get brittle with age and heat/cool cycles. In every BMW I've owned for the past 15 years I change the plastic fan every 60K miles as cheap insurance. You also need to keep an eye on the water pump, the minute it starts weeping, change it. I've followed this schedule and so far no disasters.
     
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  12. Dino D

    Dino D Zorg Guru (IV)
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    I had an OEM fan that was only 2 yrs old lose two blades.

    One failure is not good enough, two is a joke. Never had it on any other car.

    Badly designed so that when it fails it takes out other parts and leaves you stranded.
    This design must have come from the stone ages!
     
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  13. roadvoyager1

    roadvoyager1 Zorg Guru (I)
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    Preparing to do this job plus replacing thermostat, water pump and belts at the weekend. Last weekend we confirmed the aux fan is in good working order (it is and very quiet). One point to note is the lower temperature switch has a different internal guide to the standard higher temperature one originally fitted. This had us concerned for a while, however, having searched around a bit we found reference to trimming off the guide with a craft knife to allow the plug to slip into the socket.

    Will let you know how we get on.
     
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  14. Dino D

    Dino D Zorg Guru (IV)
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    Just to add that in doing this I discovered that many cars had the incorrect wiring for the aux fan from the factory! Yes from the factory!!

    The fan was wired to switch on at high speed only hence I never heard it operate apart from when aircon was used...
    It's well documented and there is a detailed (very) thread here with pics and diagrams, it's pretty simple once you have the info(!!)
    http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...ic-fan-failure/page2&highlight=Aux fan wiring

    After swapping the wires I now have an aux fan that kicks in on low speed as needed. This is handy as my viscous seems to have died (again). Possibly because I stored it upside down for two weeks, I'll try to refill it and keep it stored correctly in case I ever need it again!
     
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  15. roadvoyager1

    roadvoyager1 Zorg Guru (I)
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    Thanks for that information @Dino D. We checked the fan and got it to run at both speeds. Will check the wiring is correct also before we get started.

    The thread also has a very useful link to the odometer test mode, which I have seen before and was going to find again as part of our check out that all was working correctly. You saved me the time and effort, thank you. All bookmarked now for future reference.
     
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  16. Dino D

    Dino D Zorg Guru (IV)
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    Definitely check the wiring- my fan also worked on both speeds when testing (by shorting the wires). However the signal from the temp sensor was wrong because of incorrect factory wiring hence it never worked correctly in practice.
     
  17. roadvoyager1

    roadvoyager1 Zorg Guru (I)
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    Fan delete completed over the weekend. I am very lucky that my Daughter has a partner who is an excellent mechanic and enjoys working on the Z3. Any references to "we" really mean "he, and I passed the spanners". Thought it may be of interest to share some pictures and words with anybody else thinking of doing this modification.

    The parts:

    20150820_123231.jpg
    Wahle thermostat (11531437040 from E-Bay - Motormec) and Gates aux belt (5PK908 from Amazon -SparesHQ).

    20150824_063812.jpg

    Meyle water pump with metal impeller (313 011 2001 from Amazon), Valeo Service Thermo switch (820319 from Amazon) and Gates main belt (6PK1540 from Amazon). If the belts do not come up on an Amazon search try typing the reference into Google and it may throw up a link to the Amazon page (this is what happened for me).

    20150913_105410.jpg

    First challenge was the head dropping off the radiator bleed screw as soon as it was touched. The head had been broken off, a cross head screw put into the stump and the head put back on with sealer. Fortunately we had bought a new plug
    (17.11.1.719.384 from local BMW dealer) before starting. Made me wonder when the coolant was last actually changed (I paid for it to be done by a local German car indy "of good repute" when I bought the car 2 years ago)!!

    20150913_112208.jpg

    Main belt looking tired at 86,000 miles.

    20150913_112226.jpg
    Aux belt looking very tired.

    The removal method basically followed the description in this article http://www.zroadster.net/forum/viewtopic.php?
    f=18&t=3631
    . No special tools used to remove the viscous fan though we shocked it off with a big hammer (would not recommend if you are not changing the water pump).

    20150913_114230.jpg

    We also needed to replace the seals on the A/C condenser so that came out as well. Perhaps as well considering the accumulation of muck and flies. 20150913_114742.jpg

    With the front end stripped out access to do the job was easy.

    20150913_121648.jpg

    Old thermostat with broken retaining lugs, which explains why the engine never reach full temperature.

    20150913_121652.jpg

    New unit with the later style support legs.

    20150913_121907.jpg


    Water pumps, old and new. The central hole on each side is threaded (M6). A bolt each in each is used to jack the pump out of the housing.

    20150913_124410.jpg
    Nice new belts fitted. Hopefully good for another 80,000 miles.


    20150913_160850.jpg
    Old and new temperature switches. Note the difference in the lower horizontal flat section. The old (lighter) switch has a keyway to the right hand side the new one has it to the left. This presumably was to detect if the wrong switch had been installed during manufacture. The radiator was made by Valeo so this feature may not be present on non OEM parts.

    20150913_161150.jpg
    The plug where you can see the guide that goes into the keyway next to the "1-" marking. This has to be trimmed off for the plug to fit.

    When it was all back together the coolant was refilled, see https://zroadster.org/threads/anti-freeze-which-colour.9093/#post-133977 for more information.

    On start up the engine reached operating temperature quickly and the needle was rock steady in the central position. When stationary with increased rpm the electric fan switched in and putting the heater on full blast caused it to turn off, so all seems to be working as expected.

    If you are thinking of doing the same job I hope you find the write up of help.
     

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  18. t-tony

    t-tony Zorg Expert (II)
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    Good to share and that is a quite common subject.:)

    Tony.
     
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  19. 5harp3y

    5harp3y Zorg Guru (IV)
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    great write up
     
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  20. Paulro

    Paulro Zorg Addict

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    Great to see. Scaring me though!!